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The "European Green Deal" and the "Farm to Fork Strategy": What do they mean for Irish aquaculture?

Europe has challenged itself to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. A European Climate Law has been proposed enshrining the 2050 climate neutrality objective. This will mean that all Member States, including Ireland, are under a legal obligation to meet the associated climate targets.

The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal lays out the roadmap to achieve these targets. It will embed the concept of sustainability in the way that we produce and consume our food. A factsheet has been produced by the European Commission which outlines the benefits of the EU Green Deal for farmers. These include higher returns; farmers gaining a stronger role in the food supply chain; new business opportunities as consumers demand more sustainable practices; and additional export opportunity.

The Farm to Form Strategy

The Farm to Fork Strategy sits right “at the heart of the EU Green Deal and aims to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly” (pg.4). It lays down a new approach to ensure that agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and the food value chain contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. While human and financial investment will be required to transform production methods; in return, reduced costs and added value will be achieved.

The Strategy seeks to increase the aquaculture sector’s sustainability and competitiveness. It also implies significant support being directed towards sustainable seafood farming, including organic production and the algae industry. Animal welfare, the use of labelling to better transmit value, the use of antimicrobials in aquaculture, and the reinforcing criteria for sustainable aquaculture are also mentioned.

What does this mean to the IATiP community?  

The reason that we are sharing it with you is because it offers an opportunity for Irish aquaculture.

Here is why…

These publications are likely to influence policy and the direction of future funding and support. By celebrating the green credentials of aquaculture, those within the Irish aquaculture sector will be in a better position to leverage funding support, and also gain consumer acceptance.

For example, the Horizon Europe funding programme (2021-2027) will launch later this year and it has been indicated that around €10 billion will be allocated for research and innovation on food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture, fisheries, and the environment as well as the use of digital technologies and nature-based solutions for agri-food.

In summary, these initiatives are certainly a sign of positive things to come for the sector in Europe and you should keep them in mind when exploring future funding opportunities.

Contact

For all enquiries, please contact the IATIP Secretariat contact, Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, by email.

For more information, visit:

European Green Deal: https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/european-green-deal-communication-annex-roadmap_en.pdf

Farm to Form Strategy: https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/safety/docs/f2f_action-plan_2020_strategy-info_en.pdf